MetaTOC stay on top of your field, easily

Explaining prejudice toward the mentally ill: A test of sociopolitical, demographic, and socioeconomic factors


Journal of Applied Social Psychology

Published online on


People with mental disorders often face prejudices that can further deteriorate their condition. We tested whether Social Dominance Orientation (SDO), Right‐Wing Authoritarianism (RWA), and Belief in a Just World (BJW), and characteristics of the mentally ill predict such prejudices. Both in a general population sample and a sample of health professionals and trainees, SDO, but not RWA and BJW, predicted more prejudice, although this pattern was less pronounced among health professionals/trainees. BJW interacted with the targets' gender in Study 1, predicting less empathy toward a male but not toward a female mentally ill person. In Study 2, depressed individuals were blamed more for their illness than those with schizophrenia or cancer. Implications for future research and clinical practice are discussed.